Newport Coast, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach.  Overlooking the beach at the Hotel Laguna becomes a moment of power.  Look out at the ocean, sit above it all.  A glass of red wine and my laptop.  How can I need more?  The travelers below on the sand, in the water, hopping the waves, shouting, screaming.  The sun, oh it reflects, off the water with the screaming happy people, to my eyes.  Of course up to my eyes, or they may as well be rays of darkness.

The endless waves of Earth’s ocean.  I’ll miss those when I’m gone.  If Earth has anything it’s the oceans.  And the red wine.  Didn’t Homer talk about a ‘wine-dark sea?’  I read in college the ancient Greeks were color blind because they thought wine and ocean were the same color.  Maybe they just had dark wine and the ocean in their thoughts at the same time.  I feel perfection in the curve of a slow-building wave, reflecting sunlight, containing people, moving relentlessly forward.  Where do the people go?  As ducks or seals bobbing and passing through the waves, the light stops reflecting the same way on the wave I’m watching and all is white foam.  Eternity is here and my own touchstone in life.  Can my wife and I come together around my passion for access to the sea?  Not that I must have it every day, I just want to have it when I want it.  What I said to myself when last I thought I was wealthy was “You can come to the beach whenever you want.”  Hard to back down from that.

The fog comes in against Catalina Island.  People play and scream.  The sun’s reflection grows until I can’t comfortably look up at the water from my typing without sunglasses.  It’s after five now and on balance people have switched from the beach to the Ocean View Bar & Grill overlooking the beach.  And now I leave for my dinner back in Newport Coast, at the Marriott, where I shall prove my value.  Next day.  Have I shown it?  Possibly.  Back at this same spot, writing, feeling the Laguna Beach breeze.  Went in the water with my daughter and let her go under a wave that washed us both down, losing my sunglasses in the process.  How many pairs have I lost in the dark sea now?  Says the the experience was traumatic and she peed her swimsuit in fear when I let go of her under the wave but she’s okay now.  I didn’t tell her she might have to go under, didn’t tell her that I wouldn’t hold her.  Important moment?  She can’t rely on parents absolutely…

At the Ocean View my son plays an alien robot energy game.  I push him to do programming while I finish playing a spaceship battle game to a higher level.  Looking out over the ocean I feel I’ve lost something, that I’ve been away from this world and missed it while I played the game.  Of course, I stepped into a different world.  Traffic slowly presses through Laguna Beach.  Every time I’m in a place like this, writing, I think of my return.  Is it strange that the right to return matters so much to me?  I don’t think so.  I want to read Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead…and I can read it here or anywhere if I buy the on-line version.  Strange world.  Earlier, as soon as we reached the beach, I checked Yelp and found a place to rent a beach umbrella about 100 feet behind us.  Thanks, Yelp, for being my eyes and ears…

The sun, the fog, the waves and the people, the wine, my son and daughter.  The Internet.  All buzzing around and through me.  I need to know I can come back to this place because being in a place is part of being me.  In some way this place becomes my body when I’m in it.  No wonder I want to protect it.

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